Diapers stink. A veteran diaper changer knows how to settle a baby for a quick routine of changing the pad covering their bottom from dirty to clean. But we do tire of it. Diaper fatigue sets in and parents want to know how to get those little bottoms to clean up themselves! Consider cloth.
Cloth diapers have snuck up under the radar of big box merchants as a fantastic cottage industry in the last decade. The products available for cloth diapers and their accessories are numerous. Technology has crept into the cloth diaper industry with amazing variety and results for style and leak protection.
Get to know the who, what, where, and why of cloth diapers for 2012 with 5 great benefits!
- Get to know your baby – count, look, predict
When a baby is brand new, your doctor, doula, or midwife will direct you to count the dirty diapers and feeding times as it is the best tool to communicate how baby is doing. Parents learn to watch for the signals baby gives when they are creating a messy diaper. These signals connect parents with the baby and it can benefit right through to potty training! You can get repaid with less wasteful diaper changes!
- Get to know your community – shop, support, advocate, network
Getting into cloth can help you figure out who sells diapers beyond the grocery store and pharmacy. There are diaper retailers and resellers in every community. When you find someone to talk about cloth diapers with, you start building a support community and seek out others to share with. You can gift, give, ship (termed fluffy mail), and reuse cloth diapers for more than one baby! Encourage other parents to start with reusable swim diapers. You can get repaid with new friends and a new hobby!
- Get to know what you spend – money: build, change, sell your stash, time: with baby/family
Having children can cost a lot of money. In diapers alone, you can spend $2,500 from newborn to potty training for 6,000 disposable diapers*. Let’s take $1000 of that diaper budget and trick your baby out with some great cloth diaper fluff for wash at home! A cloth diaper stash will be made up of about 3 dozen diapers per baby, a pail, tote bags, and lotions. The cost on this can run from $150 to $1000 – with you setting the budget! Get repaid by putting good money into good gear.
- Get to know your laundry machine – detergent, stains, cycles for efficiency
Cloth diaper manufacturers recommend using safer products to wash with which translates to, cleaner machines, and reduced wear & tear on machine. You become a pro at knowing the best routine and when you stick to it you will have great success and enjoy your cloth diapering.
- Get to know healthy options – where does your diaper come from, what fabric works best for baby, what happens to a disposable, what other choices are healthy? Ask these questions and more as a new parent. It helps you learn what is best for baby and translates into other areas of your life – without you hardly noticing! Get repaid – with dividends!
Does Laundry get the better of you some days?
My goal in our house is to have enough socks and underwear to keep us all at 3 weeks between laundry visits. Then, when I get to process 7 loads of laundry it is done fast and furious so those big machines can sit around until the next demand comes through!
A recent article from the Peterborough’s Greenzine called Is Energy Efficiency an Oxymoron? pointed out you can get maximum efficiency from a device – when you don’t use it!
- Keep the car at home, not just getting the most fuel efficient!
- Turn the light off, not just buying more fancy bulbs before the old ones burn out.
- Wash the dishes by hand if you can’t fill the dishwasher.
- Clean cloth diapers with other clothes if your routine can handle it.
- Consume less and reuse what you have more seems to be the bottom line.
As we enter a very consumable time around Christmas, let’s see what good deeds we can do for the maximum efficiency, instead of adding to our woes and worries.
A New Year’s Resolution?
Here’s the challenge: reduce our impact on the world by using 3 cloth diapers on your baby each day. I found this Cause off of Facebook and the link to the blog to describe the cause.
The challenge does not ask parents to convert from disposable to cloth. It does not offer any monetary incentives other than obvious savings for not using the disposable diaper. Get some cloth diapers and use them 3 times a day on your baby – just 3 times.
Why take on this challenge?
With the disposable diapers today’s parents wore still stuck in landfill, we are adding to the waste created by our disposable society. Reduce your consumption by 3 diapers a day. It is a choice you can make.
With Changing Ways, you can start small and meet this challenge. Set up with one dozen cloth diapers – either new or retired plus 2 diaper covers. At the low end your investment is $40 and as high as $83 or more if you try more gear. One purchase can last you until baby is out of diapers. Hey, there’s a neat concept – paying for diapers once, at the beginning.
I have done cloth diapers part time, full time, and not at all. I got into cloth because of the waste and my purchasing power. I would have rather fixed my diaper cost each month and have someone else deal with the mess environmentally than have my own baby be responsible for all that landfill.
Cloth and disposable have their place. Disposable diapers were originally intended for travel. They took over the diaper marketplace only 30 years ago ! Since then, women have started a revival in cloth diapering just as they have gotten better stuff for periods (remember those yucky Kotex with the belt?), and for nursing (who can’t love an electric breast pump!). We are putting ourselves first again in some parts of our lifes. We want efficiency, tidiness, and a pretty factor!
How to make this challenge possible?
Research is a mom’s best friend. We want to know the options, compare the reviews, test drive the products before we really commit. Do you shop online? Most Canadians do a lot of research online, but not as much shopping as those to our south. So, check out the products listed under the Cloth Diaper Products tab above to see what Changing Ways offers locally. Are you interested in more diapers out there? Click on the link to the blog All About Cloth Diapers.com to see all the parent conversations over all kinds of cloth diapers! Do you want to actually touch and feel the diapers before settling on a brand or diaper system? Cover over to Diapering Darlings or Toddlers in Training cloth playgroups I host to see it all. There are All in One diapers, Flip diapers, pocket diapers, and 2 part diapers. All will support an absorbent liner with a waterproof cover.
Then decide what cloth diapers you want to test drive and order them in! Or sign up for a month’s diaper service trial! Taking away the washing aspect lets some parents continue to love using cloth diapers on baby. I, for one, hate laundry of any kind.
There will be a minor learning curve as you figure out the snaps or aplix closures and how to get the laundry routine started. You will not be alone though! Peterboruogh and area have many households already using cloth and by asking questions you may find some new friends!
How would this challenge benefit my baby?
With cloth diapers, you know exactly what material you are exposing your baby too. Many of their own clothing is made of the same/similar fibres already such as cotton, micro fleece, and waterproof polyesters. With disposable diapers, there are some fancy chemical reactions going on underneath that protective padding.
In using cloth diapers, your child will know what the feeling of being wet is and the diaper can get changed when its soiled instead of when you believe its time for a change. This small change will help prepare your child for earlier toilet training – even with using just 3 cloth diapers each day.
You can travel and overnight with cloth diapers on baby so you won’t be limiting your activities in choosing cloth.
Will you take the challenge? Have you already been challenged?